ReedTMS Logistics Volunteers at Feeding Tampa Bay

ReedTMS Logistics kicked off its fall philanthropic push on Saturday, August 12th by volunteering at Feeding Tampa Bay.

Feeding Tampa Bay, part of the national Feeding America network, focuses on providing food to the more than 700,000 hungry in the 10-county area of West Central Florida.

You might be surprised to learn that Florida is fourth in the nation for family hunger. Or, that 60% of the population in West Central Florida is eligible for food stamps. Many at-risk students won’t eat at all between lunch on Friday and breakfast Monday morning. Although these facts may surprise you, they are hard realities for the one in six in our region who live with daily hunger.

According to the new Hunger in America 2014 study conducted nationally by Feeding America, you would be surprised to learn the characteristics of the 841,000 hungry people in the community served yearly by Feeding Tampa Bay.
Too often, we associate being hungry with negative stereotypes, such as being homeless or uneducated, when that couldn’t be further from the truth. The new Hunger in America data humanizes the hungry in our community by showing they’re largely families or seniors with homes. They truly are our neighbors, our friends, our fellow church members and our coworkers.

Employees at ReedTMS, helped package food into 20 different categories in order for the goods to be easily distributed throughout the community. When it was all said and done 9,823 meals were packaged for malnourished families in the Tampa Bay area on Saturday morning!

For More information about Feeding Tampa Bay and how you can get involved in the cause, please visit their website here.

Story By : Andy Patel

Amazon has filed a patent for its drone delivery systems

Amazon teased consumers with drone delivery during a 2017 Super Bowl commercial, though the ad bore a disclaimer: “Prime Air is not available in some states (or any really). Yet.”

Back in December 2016, Amazon made its first successful customer delivery in a trial area in the United Kingdom; in March 2017, the online retail giant completed a test delivery at its invite-only MARS 2017 robotics conference in Palm Springs. Now that it has filed a series of patents for drone delivery systems, Amazon seems to be following through on promises that Prime Air will eventually become a reality.

An old joke says, “You don’t need a parachute to skydive. You only need one if you want to skydive twice.” This logic applies to dropping packages—which could contain any number of fragile products—from the air. Amazon’s latest approved patent reveals a design that incorporates a parachute directly into a package label, according to documents obtained from the U.S. Patent and Trade Office.

Using these labels, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)—or drones—could deploy packages from the air and let them drift safely to the ground. This would reduce delivery times by eliminating the need to land and take off. Packages could even potentially be dropped without the drone stopping, which makes it possible to use multiple types of UAVs instead of just those that can hover and land.

The patent also states that “different sized parachute canopies can be used for different sized shipping container’s descent appropriately to prevent damage to the contents of the shipping container,” suggesting that Amazon would scale the technology for a wide range of package sizes and weights. The patent also describes multiple ways UAVs might carry a parachute-labeled package, including mechanical arms, a suction system, magnets, and retractable shelves.

The retailer also received recent patents for a magnet-based delivery system and a coiled spring model, so it seems likely that the company will use a combination of many technologies to get drone packages on doorsteps.

Amazon continues to wait on Federal Aviation Administration approval before it can complete more widespread Prime Air distribution testing. This process will most likely take several more years, but there is little doubt that the company plans to drop its packages from the skies as soon as it is able.

Story by Jason McDowell @ inbound logistics

Regulators Pull Plan To Test Truckers, Train Operators For Sleep Apnea

Two agencies in the Transportation Department are ending their push for a rule that would have required truck drivers and train operators to be tested for obstructive sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that’s been linked to preventable accidents.

The agencies — the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Federal Railroad Administration — have withdrawn a proposed rule they published in March of 2016, when they wrote that when it goes undiagnosed or inadequately treated, obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, “can cause unintended sleep episodes and resulting deficits in attention, concentration, situational awareness, and memory, thus reducing the capacity to safely respond to hazards when performing safety sensitive duties.”

While calling OSA “an on-going concern,” the regulators said the issue can be addressed through existing safety programs and rules.

According to the Associated Press, “The agencies argue that it should be up to railroads and trucking companies to decide whether to test employees. One railroad that does test, Metro-North in the New York City suburbs, found that 11.6 percent of its engineers have sleep apnea.”

The decision didn’t sit well with the National Transportation Safety Board. The agency, which has pushed for apnea screening and awareness, said it is “disappointed” by the move. The board cited its own findings that obstructive sleep apnea has been linked to 10 highway and rail accidents in the past 17 years.

“Medical fitness and fatigue, two of the NTSB’s 10 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements for 2017 – 2018, are tied to obstructive sleep apnea,” says the agency’s media relations chief, Christopher O’Neil. He added, “The need for this rulemaking is well documented.”

Last spring, the FMCSA and FRA cited a number of cases of rail and trucking crashes that were linked to OSA in recent years, including a railway collision that took place near Red Oak, Iowa, in 2011.

That crash, which killed two crewmembers who were found to have been at risk of apnea, prompted the NTSB to urge the Federal Railroad Administration to “require railroads to medically screen employees with safety sensitive duties for sleep apnea and other sleep disorders.”

The agencies’ initial proposal also cited the 2013 derailment of a Metro-North Railroad passenger train that had been approaching the Spuyten Duyvil Station in New York City. In that crash that killed four passengers and injured more than 60 people, the engineer reported feeling dazed — and was later diagnosed with severe OSA.

Obstructive sleep apnea’s risk factors include being male, obese, and middle-age or older. Family history can also play a role.

Dr. Stefanos Kales of the Harvard School of Public Health, who has studied the link between sleep apnea and serious accidents, told NPR’s David Schaper last year, “Drivers with untreated obstructive sleep apnea who were noncompliant with treatment had a five-fold increase in the risk of serious preventable crashes.”

In announcing the withdrawal of the proposal, the FMCSA recommended that commercial drivers and their employers consult the North American Fatigue Management Program to boost their awareness of fatigue and its impact on performance.

Story by Bill Chappell at NPR

Understanding the Millennial Mindset

Produce Retailer Editor Pamela Riemenschneider and The Packer  editor Greg Johnson answer questions after presenting Fresh Trends research at The Packer's West Coast Produce Expo in May. Their presentation will focus on millennials at this year's MIdwest Produce Expo.

The Packer’s Midwest Produce Expo is back in Kansas City, Mo., Aug. 14-16 for its sixth annual edition, and this year the show focuses on a huge generation of consumers who are changing food retailing: millennials.

“Millennial Mindset is our theme this year to get the produce industry better information about reaching this important group of consumers,” said The Packer Publisher Shannon Shuman

The Packer Editor Greg Johnson and Produce Retailer Editor Pamela Riemenschneider will present a millennial version of their Fresh Trends Quiz Show, which uses Fresh Trends 2017 data to show attendees how to better market to millennials, and it uses real-time audience answers in the presentation.

“Pamela and I have some surprises for our attendees,” Johnson said. “For instance, younger consumers tend to buy fruits and vegetables less often than other age groups according to our Fresh Trends survey, but they’re even with or above the other groups on tropical fruits. We’ll explain why and what retailers can do with that information.”

Keynote speaker Matt Beaudreau has given keynote presentations to many corporate groups, and he uses proprietary data on millennials to show how to better market to and employ them.

The Millennial Mindset education program starts with a presentation on e-commerce and grocery delivery by Erick Taylor, president and CEO of Pyramid Foods, a Rogersville, Mo., retail chain, which operates 52 stores under several banners in Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas.

Then, Garland Perkins, U.S. retail solutions with The Oppenheimer Group, Vancouver, British Columbia, will analyze millennials using her personal experience and professional experiences.

The 5-hour expo is Aug. 15 at the headquarter hotel, the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center.

Buyers from Associated Wholesale Grocers, Kroger, Supervalu, Woods Supermarkets, B&R Stores, Lucky’s Market, 99 Cents Only Stores, Reasor’s Food, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, McKeever Price Chopper, Queen’s Price Chopper and Balls Food Stores, and more, are registered to attend.

Story by Greg Johnson at ThePacker.com

Diesel hits three-month high after six straight weeks of increases

The average price of a gallon of on-highway diesel went up 5 cents to $2.581 per gallon for the week ending Monday, Aug. 7. This marks the sixth consecutive increase after a month of decreases and the highest prices since May 1, when diesel cost $2.583.

Diesel price averages went up in all 10 regions in the U.S., according to the Energy Information Administration. The largest average increase was in the Rocky Mountain region, where prices at the pump went up by 5.8 cents per gallon. Prices increased by 2.3 cents in the California region, the smallest increase in the nation.

Following are the average prices by region as reported by the EIA:

  • U.S. – $2.531, up 5 cents
  • East Coast – $2.613, up 4.7 cents
  • New England – $2.618, up 2.8 cents
  • Central Atlantic – $2.751, up 4.5 cents
  • Lower Atlantic – $2.514, up 5.2 cents
  • Midwest – $2.543, up 5.7 cents
  • Gulf Coast – $2.41, up 5.1 cents
  • Rocky Mountain – $2.673, up 5.8 cents
  • West Coast – $2.848, up 3.2 cents
  • West Coast less California – $2.747, up 4.3 cents
  • California – $2.93, up 2.3 cents

According to ProMiles, the average retail price at truck stops was $2.552 on Monday morning, a 5.7 cent increase from last week.

ProMiles, the software company that maintains the websites ProMiles.com and TruckMiles.com, continues to offer its own weekly fuel price information. The company’s fuel price data are presented in the same format used by the EIA in the agency’s weekly reports. The prices include a national average as well as regional averages, and comparisons to the previous week and the previous year.

A key difference between the EIA and ProMiles reporting is the type and number of fueling stations the company surveys in order to calculate its averages. While EIA surveys 400 truck stops and convenience stores nationwide, ProMiles uses its direct feed from thousands of truck stops to develop its averages.

TruckMiles.com listed the daily average price for Monday at $2.64, with truckers in Pennsylvania paying an average of $3.097 per gallon, the highest in the nation. Truckers in South Carolina are paying a national low of $2.397 per gallon, according to the site. No states in the Lower 48 states have been listed in excess of $4 per gallon at the pump since Dec. 4, 2014. Two states, Pennsylvania and Washington, are reporting average prices, one more than last week. It has been nearly two months since the last time more than one state reported prices above $3. No states have reported average diesel prices below $2 since April 27, 2016.

AAA has indexed diesel prices at $2.512 for Monday, 21.3 cents more expensive than this time last year and 6.6 cents higher than a month ago.

In separate energy news, according to the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude (also known as West Texas Intermediate) for September delivery was trading at $48.95 at noon CDT on Monday, a $1.22 decrease from last Monday and a 63-cent decrease from its last settlement price. The price of Brent crude oil for October settlement was listed at $51.90, a 75-cent decrease from last Monday and a 52-cent decrease from its last settlement price.

According to Reuters, oil prices dipped on Monday as investors cashed out amid news of increased production in Libya and continued concerns regarding more production from the U.S. and OPEC countries. Prices dropped last week despite a boost on Friday from a positive employment report in the U.S.

Story by Tyson Fisher

Uber Freight Expanding Into Six Markets This Year

Truck

Uber Freight will expand to Arizona, California, Georgia, North and South Carolina and into the Midwest-Chicago area over the next few months after a test run that began in Texas.

“These new areas represent where drivers like to run, which makes sense: These regions including Texas cover over a quarter of the country’s drivers and freight,” the company wrote in a blog post. “Unlocking this geography allows more carriers and their drivers to grow their businesses with Uber Freight’s instant load booking and quick payment. While today we still have most of our loads in Texas, over the coming months drivers can expect to see an ever-increasing number of loads available on the app in these new markets.”

The transportation giant also said that it has heard from truck drivers who prefer to haul specific types of freight in specific lanes. As a result, Uber announced it will build new features to “automatically learn drivers’ preferences based on their past loads, their location, their home base, and more. When a new load is available that matches these preferences, the app will notify the driver.”

Uber has declined to publicly release data on the number of carriers and shipments brokered so far, but the group told USA Today that load counts have increased tenfold in Texas since January.

Story by Transport Topics